As an added hook for fifth-anniversary promotional offers, Sling TV has had the National Day Calendar declare Feb. 9 “National Cut the Cord Day.” Between Feb. 7 and 11, the virtual MVPD streaming service is offering several special offers for new or returning customers.
Sling TV has stopped offering its Broadcast Extra add-on amid a program licensing dispute with Univision. “We are not currently offering our Broadcast Extra service, which includes ABC, Univision and UniMás, on Sling TV. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes with viewing the programming that matters to you,” said a Sling FAQ posted Monday.
For almost two years, Dish Network has offered U.S. consumers a streaming-television service without a traditional cable or satellite subscription — and the company has had the market almost all to itself. Until now. AT&T, which has tied up with Time Warner in a $85 billion mega-deal, is planning to introduce an online offering, DirecTV Now, later this month. A new paid service from Hulu, Google’s YouTube Unplugged and possible offerings from Amazon and maybe even Apple will soon join the fray.
Forget about the cord-nevers Sling TV once avowed was its target. The OTT service has recruited Hollywood tough guy Danny Trejo for a series of ads aimed at cord cutters. The multimedia national ad campaign highlights the “evil” and scary” cable TV companies against its lack of hidden fees and long-term contracts and its cheaper prices. The ads are especially pitched to millennials, who are continually drifting from linear TV (parent company Dish Network lost 304,000 subscribers in the first half of this year).
Dish Network and EchoStar are getting close to the launch of Sling AirTV, a new product that integrates over-the-air broadcast television with Dish’s SlingTV streaming video service, a roundabout way of providing local channels customers have been clamoring for.